Sunday, November 04, 2012

obama was not politically produced by the black community...,

Guardian | ...but presented to it after he had made his way through the mostly white elites. His political ties to the black community are not organic but symbolic. His arrival in the political class is hailed as the progress of a community when in fact it is the advancement of an individual.

"[Obama] is being consumed as the embodiment of color blindness," Angela Davis, professor of history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told me in late 2007. "It's the notion that we have moved beyond racism by not taking race into account. That's what makes him conceivable as a presidential candidate. He's become the model of diversity in this period … a model of diversity as the difference that makes no difference. The change that brings no change."

That is why criticisms of him for "not doing enough for his own people" both miss and devalue the point. The demand to close the racial gaps bequeathed by centuries of discrimination is not a sectional interest but a national one. Demands for equality and racial justice should be made to any president of whatever race or party.

Obama should do more for black people – not because he is black but because black people are the citizens suffering most. Black people have every right to make demands on Obama – not because they're black but because they gave him a greater percentage of their votes than any other group, and he owes his presidency to them. Like any president, he should be constantly pressured to put the issue of racial injustice front and centre and if black people aren't going to apply that pressure then nobody else will.

But in fact precisely the opposite has been happening. With Obama in the White House African Americans representatives have been backpedalling. Black politicians, too, have held their fire.

"With 14% unemployment, if we had a white president we'd be marching around the White House," said the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Emmanuel Cleaver. "The president knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn't to someone white." That's pathetic and counterproductive. These are the very people who are now showing up with empty hands and trying to galvanise the black community to go to the polls.

Their reticence is partly explained by the fear of a backlash. "If we go after the president too hard, you're going after us," Maxine Waters, a California Democrat in the House, told a largely black audience in Detroit last year. But then that's what leadership is about. Explaining to those audiences that there are large numbers of people lobbying for Obama's attention, including people with huge amounts of money and power. If the black community wants it they must demand it.

Some have spoken out. In August after a month-long round of job fairs organised by the CBC across the nation John Conyers, the longest serving black American in Congress said. "We want [Obama] to know from this day forward that we've had it. We want him to come out on our side and advocate, and not to watch and wait … We're suffering." Unfortunately it was followed by little in the way of action.
In the absence of that pressure Obama has felt little need to focus his attention on the problem, even rhetorically. In his first two years in office he talked about race less than any Democratic president since 1961. In all of his state of the union speeches he mentioned poverty just three times: last year's was the first since 1948 to not mention poverty or the poor at all. When he did talk about it it was to preach better parenting, healthy meals and greater discipline.

At a Congressional Black Caucus meeting in September he told his former colleagues: "Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying." Compare that to the meeting he had with bankers not long after he was elected when they thought he was going to impose serious regulation. "I'm the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks. I'm not out there to go after you," he told them. "I'm protecting you."

This would not be the first time that the black Americans have shown great loyalty to a Democratic president who did not return the favour. Bill Clinton is still revered even though when he ran in 1992 he made a special trip back to Arkansas to oversee the execution of Ricky Ray Rector – a black, lobotomised inmate so mentally incapacitated that when given his last meal, he opted to save the dessert for after the execution. When in power he signed off on a welfare reform that would prove devastating to large numbers of black families, especially women. He presided over an economic boom Obama does not even have that.

36 comments:

Gee Chee Vision said...

"Their reticence is partly explained by the
fear of a backlash. "IF WE GO AFTER THE PRESIDENT TOO HARD, YOU'RE GOING
AFTER US," Maxine Waters, a California Democrat in the House, told a
largely black audience in Detroit last year."

Reminds me of the stupid parents that picketed against Sesame Street for adding vegetables to Cookie Monster's all-cookie menu. People will fight gold tooth and manicured nail to protect their own genocide.

Thank you for putting me on to Mr. Younge.
I'm still trying to process his critique of Cornel West but he wrote an excellent piece. Not surprised that he's a British writer.

CNu said...

lol, that'd be the primary public service mission of the liminal ouevre - cuh-learly Mr. Younge's vision not blurry....,


that said, what'd you do, or, whadda-you plan to do on tuesday magne?

CNu said...

Saturday morning is daddytivities morning in Kansas City, we drive very slowly through a whole buncha neighborhoods and stop every now and again and sample the local economic frequency and flavor. To say that that's eye-opening is a serious understatement. Lotta tongue-biting, cause I don't wanna give the story all away, I want the young mind to savor the flavors and ask the relevant kwestins. You got that kinda ethnic/economic diversity on display upsouth for lil'GCV?

Big Don said...

...BD just sends the newslinks to the grandkiddies so they can figure, for their own IQ-160 selves, what influences to embrace and What Influences To Avoid...

Big Don said...

..."the local economic frequency and flavor..."
Don't be bashful, CNu, give us the Straight Liminal Scoop from out there in bullet-riddled BabyDaddyLand...
(KC just made Business Insider's most-violent cities list...)

umbrarchist said...

What is with this IQ-160 business? That is fewer than 1 in 10,000?

Dale Asberry said...

It's bulls***. He fails to recognize that those who do have IQ-160 can see it so easily -- the helmet gives him away.


You see Don, an IQ-120 appears equally as mentally handicapped to an IQ-160 as an IQ-60 l00zer seems to you (and your grandkiddies).

Dale Asberry said...

He's not gonna post it here DUMMY... wants the kids to "ask the relevant kwestins"... posting it here would give it away to them. We all know you wouldn't know how to pull a relevant kwestin outta your ass-end anyway.

Dale Asberry said...

I like Dmitry Orlov's plan. Don't participate they're all a bunch of assclowns anyway -- I live in Richard Mourdock land, natch!

CNu said...

lol, nothing beats the stench emanating from america's psycho-spiritual colostomy bag....,

CNu said...

the poster-child for agnosognosics anonymous wouldn't have any practical value if the terror of his situation ever dawned on him http://www.amazon.com/The-King-Kings-County-Novel/dp/0670034258


though the names were changed to protect the life of the author, this book is a faintly fictionalized account of how the machinery of white-flight was engineered in Kansas City. The bread crumbs I find interesting to trace, are some of the 105 abandoned school buildings which formerly comprised the 70,000 student strong Kansas City public school district through 1959, and what became of those buildings as whites dispersed out into the nascent exurbs..., killa-city is nothing more than a symptom of a multi-generational, whole-sale abandonment and ostracism.

DD said...

Your 'known-unknown," led me down a pleasant little rabbit hole you've touched on before:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/the-anosognosics-dilemma-1/

DD said...

And taught me another new word, which might be more apt (and vile) with respect to BD.

anosodiaphoria


Though perhaps I give him too much credit, but it seems more likely as a coping strategy for an old man who is irredeemably doomed.

makheru bradley said...

I understand the First Black Syndrome--the enormous psychological investment Afrikan Americans have in the success of the first Black person in a public arena. It's largely a reaction to the defamation of our character by the White Supremacy Dynamic (see Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia" e.g.). Barack Obama's "first" transcends all others. But it's absolutely delusional to think your people were better off in Jan/2010 with nearly 16 percent unemployment (U3), than they were in Jan/2007 with 7.9 percent unemployment. Emotions were running on steriods while rational thought was malnourished.

Gee Chee Vision said...

Three years ago we were living in a gentrified zone. It was an art community in the middle of a historically poor black neighborhood. However the art residency which we were close to was a project of social relevance. There was also a community center that's been holding it down since the 70's. My son witnessed the hood hijinks but in the midst of it all were the art openings, the after school Capoeira classes, the Afrikan drum classes, the vegetable market co-op on weekends, the Eid Celebrations, the ancestor libations; being with dad to serve Emory Douglass/ Kathleen Cleaver/ Amiri Baraka during their Houston visits for museum/ gallery engagements.

I never really took note how he absorbed all of that. But the black art residency and the community center only a block apart have invented an atmosphere in which the youth raised there believe those are the things that are just suppose to be in a hood. That's the ghetto however the only time I've heard him describe a place as "ghetto" is when we stopped by a Walmart.

Dale Asberry said...

One of the comments recently was about how Republicans have been framing Obama as anti-Israeli. Been thinking a bit on that one and I've decided that it's primarily to sway old Jewish voters in Florida (to steal the election) for Rmoney. Secondarily, it fits nicely with the crazy that runs through fundamentalist xtians heads although they're already voting for Rmoney.

CNu said...

Mebbe Rmoney is the fulfillment of the white horse prophecy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Horse_Prophecy

Dale Asberry said...

MebBE!

Gee Chee Vision said...

I was listening to this cat speak on voting. He made a point that we
vote everyday when we choose who to associate with, how we choose to
spend our money and what we choose to invest our time and energy doing.




On Tuesday I will continue to encourage my son to vote as he has always
voted; loving God & feeding the poor, spending his money on fair trade products, growing his fruit/
vegetable garden, being the household recycle police, serving the women of his family and humanity and beating-up the
school bully again if need be.

Big Don said...

...Slam-Dunk for Obama. None of the pollsters have applied the rampant Obama Fraud Factor.. All those "mis-calibrated" voting machines that convert Romney votes to Obama. Dead voters. Bribes. NAACP/Panther polling place coercion. Tampered-with mail-in ballots.......

Critical edge in swing states. You can bet Dems have worked that potential to the absolute hilt.....[ Note to CNu: file under "What it do Shawty" ]

CNu said...

People-centric leadership at its finest! Accept no substitutes....,

umbrarchist said...

That is one of the funny things about making a big deal of this IQ business. The NORMAL range is 90 to 110 and a Moron is 75. So to a person with a 150 IQ all of the Normal people are morons from his perspective. But 75% of the population is below 111.


So how are we supposed to run the world with computers everywhere that most people cannot understand but we want most people to get college degrees. Doesn't that really mean the degrees are watered down junk to make money off low IQ people.


Personally I think IQ tests are of questionable accuracy and value and I score over 130. My problem has usually been that teachers don't seem too smart. Read Isaac Asimov. His IQ was 160.

John Kurman said...

You are a fellow Hoosier? You know, the homonym of Hoosier, in Russian, is hoo-zhe, which means "the worst".

Dale Asberry said...

Yes. Yes, I am. Over near Fort Wayne. I've tried to explain what hoo-zhes are like to CNu... don't think he understands -- my Facebook feed could help with that though. I didn't realize what they were like until I moved for work to New Hampshire. Eye opening.

Dale Asberry said...

I laugh every time CNu says that if BD didn't exist he'd have to make him up. Chrissakes they're EVERYWHERE here.

CNu said...

Really? You're surrounded by military vet, retired engineers who have to go to the trouble of pseudo-scientifically rationalizing the outgassings of their ids, or, are you saying that Indiana, like rural Pennsylvania, has a great deal in common with 1963 Alabama?

Big Don said...

I'm BD, and I approve this message....

John Kurman said...

The way I've heard it put, if Ohio wears the derby and starched collar, Indiana wears the straw boater and spats. And that was in 1996.

Dale Asberry said...

Derp, derp, derp, derp,...

Dale Asberry said...

I've been seeing a lot of Bible verse self-calming scrolling in my "friend" feed today...

Big Don said...

... @Dale scripture
This Letter to Editor (image below) appeared in a Midwest small-town newspaper prior to the 2008 election...

Big Don said...

(image from previous comment)

Dale Asberry said...

BD making a relevant comment? For a second there I thought I might be experiencing a contact high from all the marijuana smoke pouring in from Colorado and Washington!

Gee Chee Vison said...

DB, don't you think it's so hilarious that the whitest red-neck Christian worships a middle eastern dark toned man while wishing death to the inhabitants of that entire region? It tickles me soooo much.

Gee Chee Vision said...

I do get the Christ-like appeal though since Jesus spoke Aramaic which is the sister tongue to Arabic (not old English or Greek or Latin) and he prayed with his face on the ground just like Muslims. Fascinating observation BD.

I'm imagining BD and his Bible study group meeting the same fate, when seeing the real Jesus, as Clayton Bigsby's supporters when he removed his hood.

Dale Asberry said...

Don't forget "elderly". In the cities, where they're edumacated, you got Type I "BD", out here in the boondocks, Type II. I feel diseased now, yuck.